In today’s post, I’m going to share with you my step by step process of writing a blog post outline.
I’ll share how I didn’t always practice this part of blogging – and how it’s saved me literally so much along with uncovering a handful of other reasons why you should be creating a blog post outline in your blogging process.
Tell me if this sounds familiar at all…
So you’re sitting there, right? Just staring at the blank screen in front of you with that annoying little cursor blinking at you.
Urgh. You grumble. This is the worst. And such a waste of your precious time. There are a million things you need to be doing right now.
You’ve got ideas, so why’s it so hard to get this blog post started?
It happens. And as frustrating as it is, it will likely STILL happen after you implement this process. But the difference is that it’s not going to happen EVERY SINGLE TIME you sit down to write content.
In fact, I’d be surprised if it happened once every few months.
Let’s cut to the chase – you need to save time wherever you can and if you’re writing blog content, you need to get it into the hands, laps, and eyes of your ideal customers.
THIS helps you do that.
Why Create a Blog Post Outline?
It’s smart of you to want to understand why you should do this for your blog content. I’ve fallen victim to doing things just because I saw Susie Instagram doing it and how much it was helping her so thus, I too NEEDED to do said thing as well.
But this MIGHT be for you….so here’s how to tell:
You’re struggling with writer’s block everytime to sit down to write a blog post
You feel as if your content is all over the place, confusing your audience and not aligning to your goals
Your time is PREC-IOUS. You have parameters and you need to stick to them – but everything feels like it takes forever, including blogging.
You haven’t even considered blogging because you felt like it would just suck too much time away from the other parts of your business.
Here’s WHY you should consider writing blog post outlines:
Saves Time – So much time can be saved by just giving yourself a framework to work within. Stop trying to wing it and work on a system and a plan. I promise, it’s worth it. You can thank me later.
Keep Ideas Organized – Sometimes we can just be TOO close to our own content. A blog post outline will help you keep things on track and avoid getting lost in your schema of knowledge.
Better Ranking (more views) – When you step back and create an outline it gives you the opportunity to make sure you content is optimized correctly for SEO. Inserting subheadings that contain targeted keywords and alternative keywords can help your content rise in the rankings and perform better, thus…getting you more visitors to your site.
Aligns Content w/Your Goals – This is something I am literally doing while I write this blog post. By developing this outline, I am able to ensure that my content is helping me move forward towards my goals.
Ease of Planning & Scheduling – You know what they said…failing to plan is planning to….fail.
So if you want your blog content to do the heavy lifting for your business – this planning your content with outlines is a really perfect place to start!
How to Create a Blog Post Outline in 7 Steps
In my years of blogging, I’ve learned a few things about the best way to go about creating an outline. It didn’t always look how it does now, and I am sure that it will continue to grow and evolve over time.
What I’m sharing with you today is the actual system I use to create a blog post outline that will ultimately cut your blog creation time in half, infuse your content with purpose and strategy, and start working SMARTER, not harder.
Keyword Research – Use a tool like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to research various keywords related to your topic to find the right fit for your post. Make a list of the best keywords or keyword phrases you find and then decide from that list once you’ve completed your research.
You’ll want to have a targeted keyword to include in your H2 subheadings and throughout your content for SEO optimization.
Topic Research – Explore other pieces of content related to your topic. Record tips or ideas that you want to make sure to include in your blog post for your audience. This is a great way to not only learn more about your topic but to find out more about the types of questions your audience is asking about it.
Google Document – I used to just write my blog posts in WordPress. But then I realized that it was much easier to edit and revise in a Google doc.
This is where I put together my outline for each blog post and then it eventually becomes my rough draft version. I keep a copy of my blog posts in Google doc form so that I always have a backup if something were to happen to my content.
Craft Working Title – Don’t get too hung up on the title before you create your blog post outline. It’s called a working title because you will likely end up changing it. Maybe even more than once.
I always jot something out – and then make a note to go back and spend some time crafting a title that I know will reflect what is in the blog post AND will resonate with my audience.
Organize Ideas – What are the key takeaways you want your audience to learn by reading your post? These key takeaways become your outline subheadings.
Keep these tangible and practical. Your readers want to be able to take your information and apply it right away. The goal is not to trick them into joining your email list or signing up for your program but to build a genuine connection and trust with them.
When I create a blog post, I always take some time to evaluate what I want to say vs. what my audience wants to read. Remember, your content isn’t about you. Think from your readers perspective and give them what they want to read.
Add in Takeaways – Don’t forget to add in your own personal experiences and stories as they relate to your blog topic. Give your readers a way to visualize applying the content in their real lives. Let your personality and unique experiences shine, it’s what will set your content apart from anyone else who’s creating blog content on the same topic.
I’ve learned that it’s a lot easier to add in these types of snippets when writing blog content for my lifestyle blog. The content naturally lends itself to storytelling. So as I have branched out into writing more technical content, I’ve had to be really intentional about sharing stories that relate to the content topic to give my readers a way to connect with me. It’s really easy to get wrapped up in sharing value with the technical information. But the chances are that you’re already providing lots of value to your readers. Don’t devalue that.
Revise & Refine – Although you might be tempted to skip this step, hang in there and follow through. It’s so important! And you might make some changes that really make a huge difference!
Take some time to revise (make changes to the order) and refine (add details and important notes) the content you’ve decided to include.
How to Market Your New Blog Post
Writing a blog post and then not marketing it is like trying to sell something without telling people you’re selling it.
I mean, duh, right? But for real.
While SEO will work to help drive traffic to your site – you can do your part to let the algorithm know that your content is valuable and important by pushing it out to as many pipelines as possible.
So here’s a quick list of ways to market a blog post once it’s been published:
Schedule an email to go out to your subscribers highlighting the post or with some kind of call to action to have people read it.
Push out to all of your social channels: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Pin a Graphic to Pinterest (and don’t forget to schedule a slew of other graphics too)
Repurpose that blog post into social content to give your followers bits and pieces and then direct them back to the blog post.
So remember the time when you sat there staring at a blinking cursor in utter defeat because you simply cannot focus long enough to figure out what the heck you should write about.
Stop doing that.
Start creating blog post outlines. Cut your content creation time in half. Get your thoughts in order. Align your content with your goals.
I’d love to hear from you on Instagram after you read this blog post and put my signature blog post outline system to work – tell me how you like it and what you’re doing with the time and effort you’re saving NOT staring at that annoying blinking cursor.